History, Period 7
At one point, I realized I might not return home. I lay with my face in the mud, not knowing if I was dead or alive. Were the numerous soldiers lying around me my friends or my enemies? Should I remain silent in the muck or risk rising to my feet and be slaughtered by the Greeks? Maybe this was just a dream and I would wake in the warmth and comfort of my tent. I felt my heart throbbing in my head. I lifted my head slowly from the sludge and gasped for air. I knew I was alive. I could have been one of the dead. My feet pulled me up to my full height, which wasn’t very high. The leather armor protecting my chest was worn with chunks missing. I stripped off the torso and shin guards of a headless Greek soldier. I thought improving my armor would increase my chances of seeing my family again. The only provisions I had left included my spear and a container of water.
The last one was dead. I realized we had slaughtered all the Greeks that opposed us. Our war was almost won. Knowing we would win the war, I wanted to bring something of value home. My comrades and I were nosing around to find something of value on every lifeless soldier before our return home. All that our noses found was the smell of sun-baked human flesh.
I heard the captain yell for us to get ready to march. We went to a small village to rest. The villagers accepted us and graciously fed us. We were starved! The food was unrecognizable to us, but we scarfed it anyway. We slept and regained our strength for a couple of days. We sighted a large Greek army. Our captain told us to attack. Our entire unit except my captain and me charged fiercely at our rivals. My captain darted in the other direction. I was stunned with fright. I dreaded what happened the last time I went into battle. The last time I charged into battle, well, I don’t remember, so that’s what I am afraid of. I sided with my captain when my fearless warriors were slaughtered by arrows. “You caught up then,” my captain said. I was silent, still wondering why he ran. We trotted continuously for hours, my heart filling with pride while knives constantly stabbed my lungs. There was a massive Trojan army which was our destination. “Go, [gasp], join, [gasp], the ranks.” I proceeded as I was told. At least I’m in the back.
Our enormous blob started marching forward. We started as if we were in no hurry. Then we marched faster, and faster, and faster. We were like a runaway chariot picking up speed as it rolled down the hill. I could see the Greeks. We were sprinting towards them. It wasn’t easy to keep up with the rest of the crowd because my shin guards dug deeper and deeper into my ankle. I cringed in agony. I feared I couldn’t take another step. The Greek army was decimated compared to the last time they were in my view. As we got closer I heard angry yells coming from behind us. A few of us looked backwards to see what could possibly make such a racquet. We were shocked to see a Greek army charging towards us.
So much for thinking I was in a safer place. There was no protection for me now. I couldn’t fight the army. I had never killed anyone. I knew this was the last of me. As the army drew closer, I had to do something. My eyes darted around to see my comrades. Their eyes were fixed on the Greek horde. Nobody would notice if one soldier slipped away before the battle began. I stabbed one of my captains that was protected by his shield in the side. I grabbed my dead captain’s shield and ran away from where the two armies would collide, crunched myself into a ball and covered my body with his shield. I would lay there, lifeless. I listened as men yelled and swords clashed. Men fell one by one to the ground. Some soldiers were groaning, some were crying for help, and others were silent.
When it became silent, I took off my shield and realized Trojan tents were pitched among the bodies of the dead. I cut my own leg with my spear and limped to one of the tents. I told one of the men that I had been wounded in the battle. The man said “the Greeks were almost extinguished”. He stated that we had crippled the Greeks leaving them no hope. He also told me that we left them with no option except to retreat.
Days have past, and I am in the
I awoke in the middle of the night in a drunken
hear whispers around me. I stumbled to my feet and listened carefully.
the gate creep open. My comrades and family were under attack in their
put my arm above my head, screamed and ran in the opposite direction.
mind, I did everything possible to save everyone I could, or maybe it
selfishly save myself.
January 29, 2004
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